Your 23-Week-Old Baby – development & growth

23-week-old baby

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You remember the sleepless nights you spent wondering if your baby will ever let you sleep at night again? Well, say hello to sleep-full nights as your baby begins sleeping through the night by week 23! Find some insights on babies and peanut allergies too.

Your baby's twenty-third week after birth

The baby’s first few weeks after birth, which though may seem like the toughest and the most difficult to get through, are actually the days’ parents should most enjoy and cherish. Before you know, your little angel will develop into a full-size human, only wanting you to have a little more time with them!

Take for example your baby’s 23rd week after birth. Your baby will suddenly start displaying, massive signs of recognition, not only for and towards you but also towards themselves! Their exploration antennas will be on full reception and watch as they are spellbound, trying to absorb everything that’s happening around them!

Your 23-week-old baby's development and physical growth

1. Your baby's reflexes

At 23 weeks, your baby will begin displaying an immensely impressive understanding of the cause and effect law. They will now know that if they apply pressure on their toy car, it will move forward and will be largely fascinated by the discovery! You will see your baby spending a lot of time just trying to push things around and pressing buttons wherever they see one. Your baby will also now start to hold and grab things in quick action. They will further love to create a lot of noise now, banging random objects. A nice and fun activity to keep them engaged could be to give them some non-noisy kitchen items like plastic cups and silicone spatulas and let them enjoy their novel discovery!

2. Your baby's general understanding of the things

Until a couple of weeks ago, if you had taken your baby’s toys and hidden them under a blanket, they would innocently believe the toy is gone. At week 23, however, your baby is becoming smarter. They’ll now know that things that go out of sight may not necessarily be gone forever and they are simply elsewhere!

3. Your baby's sleep habits

Here’s some good news! By week 23, you can expect your little one to sleep long stretches of sleep – it could be anywhere between 6 to 12 hours at once- without waking up several times during the night as they used to until now. Having established that by the time they hit 6 months, most babies are able to sleep through the night, it should be noted that it is not necessary that they will. If your baby is still acting a little fussy and does not seem to be comfortable sleeping through, now could be a good time for you to inculcate a sleeping pattern in their schedule by using certain sleep training methods. Always also remember: try to consistently put down your baby at around the same time each night to get their body used to sleep each night. Parents need to be mentally prepared that their babies will take their own time to get used to a sleeping pattern.

4. Sitting up on their own

Around this week, your baby will also begin sitting up on their own for a period as long as 30 minutes, making it so much easier for parents to carry the little one around without an added bouncy seat or swing. Since the baby will now sit up, they will also be able to entertain themselves better, reaching out and grabbing things on their own. Be cautious about this when you take your baby shopping and when you place them in the car because they might just topple out of the car owing to this enhanced movement they. have recently discovered they are capable of. Buying a baby carrier for heightened safety may be a good idea.

Your baby's health in week 23

1. Tests and vaccinations

Week 23 and forward are weeks of booster shots of vaccinations and so, it is recommended that parents take out their planners and schedule doctor appointments in advance. Babies at this age may act rather cranky and unsettled after vaccinations, and so, it is crucial for you to spend a lot of time with your baby and to pay them enough attention after doctor visits.

2. Your baby's sixth-month checkup

For your baby’s six-month milestone check-up, the pediatrician will be measuring the baby’s height, weight, and head circumference, to then compare with previous measurements and to track their growth curve. At this point, if it is found that your baby is struggling to gain weight, you may be recommended to supplement breast milk with formula and to introduce solids if you have not already.

3. Flu and colds

6 months is when babies usually catch their first cold and so, as parents, we recommend that you speak to your doctor in advance and equip yourself with the knowledge on how to take care of an ill baby. You may feel scared and confused if your baby shows any symptoms of sickness but the tip is to just go with your gut and reach out for medical help as soon as you feel something may be wrong. Keep a special active eye for runny noses, elevated temperatures, behavioral changes, and diarrhea. Most babies display their discomfort in the form of excessive, unexplained, unreasonable crankiness, that being the only way for them to express themselves. So if your little one seems crankier-than-usual, you know it’s time to call the pediatrician.

Final Thoughts: What's happening with the mamma and a quick bit on peanut allergies in babies

By the time your baby turns 23 weeks or six months old, along with their milestones, you should also be getting back to your life better and easier with each passing day. You should now also be able to catch up on all your lost sleep as your child starts sleeping in longer stretches. There will always be some baby-related and baby-associated issues but the trick here is to take one day at a time and to reach out for help when your issues feel overwhelming.

Now speaking of peanut allergies in babies. By the time your baby is in their 23rd week after birth, you would most likely be interested in transitioning to solid foods but might also feel anxious about this step, given the possibility of allergies food brings in babies. We recommend that you do not introduce your baby to too many new foods at once and instead take one new food at one time so as to know when something isn’t suiting your baby right. As for peanuts, the general idea is to steer clear of high-allergy-possibility foods like peanuts for the first couple of years but in reality, official guidelines recommend quite the opposite.

A study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 2015 stated that “an early introduction and regular feeding of peanut-containing products can help prevent the development of peanut allergy in infants at “high risk.” The American Academy of Pediatrics further has issued certain tips on how to introduce your baby to peanut-containing products.

  • The guidelines recommend that if your baby has displayed persistent eczema or an immediate allergic reaction to highly allergenic foods like eggs, they automatically will be at “high risk for peanut allergy.” You should first undergo an allergy evaluation before feeding your baby with a peanut and can perhaps do it in the pediatrician’s office under supervision.
  • Further, if your baby has not had severe eczema and if you think that there is no reason to be concerned, you can gradually start incorporating peanut-containing products in small quantities in their solid-food diet.

 

It should also be remembered that whole peanuts may cause a choking hazard and so, always feed peanuts to your baby in a texture that is safe; perhaps, by mixing it into their solid foods or mixing peanut butter in warm water or warm milk.

FAQs- Your 23-Week-Old Baby: Development & Growth

1. Can I have sex 6 months after childbirth?

It is common for women to experience their libido rising around six months after delivery. Though it may be safe to have sex, it should be noted that once your baby begins feeding on solids, you no longer produce enough hormones to suppress ovulation and so, if you are having sex, make sure to use protection. As a nursing mom, you may have also been on a progestin-only birth control pill but now may be a good idea to go back to a regular pill with both hormones as they are more effective against pregnancy. Also, if you use a diaphragm, have it refitted, especially if you delivered vaginally.

2. How do I know if my baby is going through a growth spurt?

Typically, an average 6-month-old baby could weigh anywhere between 16.1 pounds for girls and 17.5 pounds for boys. The average height of a 6-month-old baby can be expected at 25.9 inches for girls and 26.6 inches for girls. If your baby does not conform to these measurements, it does not necessarily mean something is wrong with them and you should speak to your doctor before jumping to conclusions.

3. What Colours do 5-month-olds see?

At 23 weeks or 6 months of age, some babies may start rocking back and forth on hands and knees but will not start crawling yet. It is only at 9 months of age that babies begin to creep and crawl.

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